Prototyping is a crucial part of new product development and engineers and designers rely on prototyping to bring novel technologies to market. In recent years, tech-based startups like Tesla or Udacity have revolutionized their respective industries. However, many tech-based startups are unable to create a viable product with their available resources, and fail before ever making it to market. In this work, we analyze survey responses from 34 startup representatives to investigate the relationship between prototyping practice, startup success, and perceived difficulty of startup tasks. K-means cluster analysis shows three distinct groups, differentiated by (1) their amount of available funding, (2) their use of prototyping best practices, and (3) their reported difficulty in startup tasks. High-performing startups reported having the highest funding, experiencing less difficulty in startup tasks, and using prototyping best practices more frequently than their peers.

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